The 2004 Kingston Frontenac Public Library Branch Services Review noted that east Kingston is relatively poorly served, with 0.29 square feet of library space per capita, compared to 0.59 square feet in other urban areas. To achieve the standard of 0.50 square feet per capita, in 2004 the area required immediately an additional 3,000 square feet. The report recommended that, by 2026, east Kingston would require 10,000 square feet of library space to meet the 0.50 square feet per capita standard. The Library has had expansion of library services in its capital plan for a number of years.
Options for Expansion
In the Fall 2017, the City of Kingston and the Kingston Frontenac Public Library had discussions around the possibility of the Library joining the Kingston East Community Centre Project. The Library decided to study this possibility and other options for the expansion of library service in Kingston East, and engaged Shoalts and Zaback Architects to study four options:
1) Join the Kingston East Community Centre Project and construct a new library as part of that project. The building that currently houses the Pittsburgh Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library is owned by the City of Kingston. It would be returned to the City for other uses.
2) Add to and renovate the existing Pittsburgh Branch.
3) Construct a second library branch in Kingston East and renovate and retain the existing Pittsburgh Branch.
4) Construct a new free-standing library branch on a new (not yet identified) site. The building that currently houses the Pittsburgh Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library is owned by the City of Kingston. It would be returned to the City for other uses.
The library sought community input at an open house at the Pittsburgh Branch on November 15, 2017, between 2 and 4 p.m. and 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. and through online and paper surveys. The report on the consultation process can be read here and the comments received through the process can be read here. An information sheet, referred to as Appendix A in the report, was developed to provide some background on the project and information about the Kingston East Community Centre. It is available at all library branches and or can be downloaded here.
Report and Recommendation
Gerry Shoalts from Shoalts and Zaback Architects presented a draft of the “Kingston East Library Space Needs Assessment” report to the Kingston Frontenac Public Board at their meeting on January 24, 2018. The Board decided that either option 1, the construction of a new library branch within the new Kingston East Community Centre, or option 2, the renovation and expansion of the existing Pittsburgh Branch would be acceptable. A report was presented to Kingston City Council at their meeting on April 17, 2018, where option 2 was selected.